“Imagine no possessions.
I wonder if you can…”
Marketing drives our world today. Everything from political candidates to clothing to cars and cell phones is presented to us through a filter of manipulative images and languaging. True needs (supporting life) have been replaced with artificial needs (unnecessary, even detrimental, to our lives). What would the world be like without marketing? Some economists say it would fall apart, no longer driven by false monetary incentives. I don’t believe it.
In much of the Western world, possessions rule daily life. From the time we are born, toys and playthings are dangled endlessly in front of us. Artificially created cravings begin very early. And now that smartphones are often in the hands of very young children, this trend is intensifying. Yet alongside all these distractions is a movement for conscious awareness and simplicity that is becoming more wide-spread.
There is a new consciousness emerging on the planet, one that sees energy as the force behind every thought, interaction, and event in the universe. Positive energy uplifts and moves us forward in our lives with open hearts and open hands, centered in our own inner peace. Negative energy freezes us in place with closed hearts and closed hands, yet always anxiously longing for something else. Positive energy is dynamic and reciprocal; it brings people together in sharing and love. Negative energy pits people against one another and promotes material goods to fill the subsequent holes in their lives.
As people choose simpler lifestyles and are more mindful of global connections and interdependencies, this positive energy flows out to the collective and gradually shifts consciousness. Recycling, reuse, and repurposing are now in the public vocabulary. Many people make donations rather than buy physical presents at holidays. They volunteer at food banks, homeless shelters, or nature sanctuaries throughout the year. The circle of life and generosity extends energetically beyond a few to include the many.
The marketing mentality tells us that selling, whether objects or ourselves, is the baseline for survival in this world. Out of this approach arises written or spoken language that manipulates consciousness to “buy” what is being promoted, whether it’s a T-shirt, a pizza, a drug, or a person with a skill or service. Nothing is real in the world of marketing. It’s usually targeted to specific audiences to create a buying magnet that is irresistible. And often even when we know we are being manipulated, we buy into it anyway! That’s how powerful that particular kind of energy is.
It takes continuous awareness to resist the siren call of the marketers of the world and choose another path. One centered in authenticity, integrity, and the common good. It is entirely possible to present information about life-sustaining products and services with honesty and simple truth. We need to support those who do so and turn away from those who use false hyperbole to promote the accumulation of possessions.
All of us on this planet can live deeply fulfilling lives without poverty, deprivation, or suffering anywhere. We don’t really need houses full of the latest items trending in the popular media. Those things don’t bring lasting happiness and peace of mind anyway. So why not give up the illusory solo quest for “having it all” and choose instead sharing it all. And being it all. Meaning, being rich in spirit, in kindness, in caring. In friendship, in love, in sister/brotherhood. These are the true jewels in the treasure chest of life on Earth.